By Ken Heartly-Wright
1 April 2010
Brian Cox (courtesy: Gia Milinovich)
The 42 year old has recently presented the BBC series Wonders of the Solar System, in which he travels the globe explaining various phenomena in our solar system.
To promote the series, the former keyboard player in the band D:Ream has also appeared in a string of high-profile television and radio appearances.
Last week the rock-star physicist appeared on the late-night TV programme Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, which is normally reserved for A-list celebrities.
And only last month he was heard on the top-rated Chris Evans Breakfast show on BBC Radio 2. Indeed, most physicists can only d:ream of being on such prime-time shows as these.
Now, however, Cox will star in an upcoming episode of the prime-time soap opera Coronation Street.
The show, known affectionately as Corrie, is set in the fictional town of Weatherfield, a suburb of Manchester, and follows a number of dysfunctional families living on the street with the Rovers Return pub as its main social point.
Cox, who was born in Oldham, Greater Manchester, will be no stranger to the show or indeed the dialect, which can feature terms such as “eh, chuck?”, “nowt” and “by ‘eck!”
The Mancunian physicist is set to play the character Byron Knox, a particle physicist who works at Weatherfield Polytechnic.
Although details about the storyline for Cox’s character are scarce, physicsworld.com has learned that Knox used to work at CERN but returns to Weatherfield after being sacked for accidentally dropping his meat and potato pie onto an electrical connection at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider – stopping the experiment from working.
Returning to Weatherfield after his CERN humiliation, Knox discovers that he is the long-lost son of Ken Barlow – famous as being one of the original characters in Corrie and one of the few to have attended university.
Keen to resurrect his career, Knox then begins teaching physics at Weatherfield Polytechnic. Some scenes will involve him lecturing some of the show’s stars on particle physics in the Rovers Return as well as encouraging the street’s rebel teenager, Rosie Webster, to pursue a career in physics.
It is not yet known whether Cox’s appearance will be a one-off or if he will make regular appearances on the show. physicsworld.com understands that this will depend on his research commitments.